Features Jun 8, 2016 at 4:00 am

Six Women Say a Seattle Man Posed as a Female Porn Recruiter in Order to Lure Them to His Apartment for Sex. What Can the Law Do About It?

As originally printed, 6-8-16


Wait... they agreed to have sex, though, right?

Ugh, this just makes my skin crawl. I can't even pick what the creepiest part is, but I'm leaning towards 'stealing the name of his middle school crush'.

Obviously the law needs to change to protect people in situations like this, but can't they at least nail him to the wall on other stuff in the meantime? Labor laws, impersonation, fraud, something?
Might also be wise to vet the guy you're about to have consensual sex with in order to get into a porn career. You know, don't be a dummy. There's that aspect to it, too.

Major criminality happening here seasoned with a lack of vetting by others in the story. And I thought The Stranger provided guidelines to how to be a sex worker?
Unknown solider: Dude, I understand what you're trying to say, BUT it's blaming the niave victim & ignoring the fact this creep wouldn't have gotten laid otherwise. Where is his responsibility to treat other's with basic respect?

Cato: You're attempt at irony is severely undermined with incorrect punctuation.
So, if someone lies about being a millionaire (or some such) to impress another person into the sack, that liar is a rapist for lying? "If I knew then what I know now, I never... so I retroactively didn't really consent." That kind of flimsy argument gets justifiably shredded in court: "I didn't know he was married, ergo I was raped." "I didn't know he dyed his hair, so he raped me." "I didn't know he wasn't a doctor, so he raped me." Maybe they can get him on fraud charges, but even that could be a tough case.
I completely agree this is a gross and skeezy scam - but it just won't rise to the legal standard of sexual assault. Lying to get laid is not illegal even if it is immoral, unethical, and douchey.

As an aside, the gullibility of these victims is without measure. Were they never warned about talking to strangers? About the "too good to be true"? About knowing exactly what you are getting into? Kind of boggles the mind.
As one of his many, many victims...thank you.

I never consented to being drugged, humiliated, and raped. None of us did.

Thank you for being our voice.
@7 - I make no presumption about Shearer and Bishop, who are phenomenally brave to speak publicly about their experience, but generally speaking: if you're incapable of having empathy for young women who make a bad decision driven by economic factors, then you're a lost cause. It might be a heavy legal lift for a prosecutor to make, but the criminal justice system owes it to these women to try. Lord knows it owes them more than it owed Brock Fucking Turner.
He sounds like a horrible person. I became aware of this when some friends on facebook were describing him as a serial rapist a few days ago. His behavior is disturbing and likely illegal. The victims might have a chance of winning a civil suit against him. But having sex with someone because they promise it will get you something (a job, a car, a marriage proposal) and the person was making these promises just to get sex, well, that's contemptuous and in some cases maybe illegal or have some civil liabilities, but it is not rape or sexual assault. Don't kill the messenger.
@11..don't worry...they'll come after you now.
I bet Matt Hickey is at least one of the people on this comment thread.
@10) I made no remarks about empathy or what the criminal justice system should do. You are using what is called in logic 101 an "argumentum ad hominem". Read the message, argue to the message. What you presume the opinion of the messenger to be is (always) incorrect and always has zero weight to the matter at hand.
Based on the fact that he misrepresented himself and created fake profiles to manipulate women the third-degree rape charges sound warranted. If that isn't an option, a civil suit should be an option as a case of fraud, similar to the suit over Donald Trump's "university."
But it is the claim of a business opportunity that I think is critical, as merely making false or misleading statements (e.g. stating you are single when you are in fact cheating on a partner) seems like a slippery slope.
@7 - I'm not an armchair lawyer (or philosopher!) like yourself so I won't debate the legal argument. But you called them gullible and talked about them like they were children, which is textbook victim blaming.
@14, I mean.
I always thought he was a creep! And OMG, here is his Go Fund Me, where kind people paid for him to get a cyst removed from his ass. https://www.gofundme.com/48jp4sm4
@16, it's pretty insulting to women to think that they aren't smart enough to not fall for this kind of slimy ploy to get consensual sex.

I think most people are smart enough to say yes to banging some stranger promising a career. In this case, though, they weren't.

to *NOT say yes to banging a stranger.
@13 Guaranteed. Maybe even some of his neck-beard friends.
@22 - Go back to Reddit.
@21, hi one of the gullible people mentioned in the article(?), I'm Tyler.
Tyler who? I think your antisemitism is showing.
he is 4eyes on fetlife and mattoly on reddit, fwiw
@28 his fet, as far as I know, has been banned
You obviously overlooked the part where the lawyer explained that it would have to a material misrepresentation and that for a sex worker (or potential sex worker) the law would be that it was represented as a business deal.
Same for "I had sex with you because you told me you were a millionaire" ,the law would have to make that a material representation/misrepresentation.
@ 22, oh puh-leaze.

"...the gullibility of these victims is without measure. ... Kind of boggles the mind."

That is precisely what is meant about your lack of empathy. If you can't understand why these women did what they did, so much that it 'boggles [your] mind,' then you lack empathy. Yes, what you wrote is victim-blaming, and no amount of hair-splitting arguments will change that. If you don't like it, then either say, "I misspoke, I meant to say..." or just own up to it and move on.

And that last line, "Kind of boggles the mind." is an asshole rhetorical move, where your personal conclusion is a fait accompli. What you witnessed boggles your mind and no one else's. And that is the best admission of your lack of imagination or empathy or both that we're likely to get out of you.
Has Neumos made any statement about how they employed Matt Hickey for 10 years and let him drink for free at their bar and be their in house Computer Tech?
@35 I reached out for comment, but got nothing.

@9 Would you be willing to talk about it? My e-mail address is sydney@thestranger.com.
I fail to see the point here except that women are potentially too delicate to be responsible adults and not get scammed, along with the non-stop trend of expanding the definition of rape. This piece definitely ruins a big part of Hickey's life, that's for sure, whether he did it or not. His biggest mistake was just not being himself. Not an uncommon problem.
Being gullible isn't illegal. But tricking someone often is. You can say every case if fraud is just due to gullibility, but that doesn't change the culpability of the one perpetrating a fraud. In the case of sex the same applies. Not all cases of misleading someone would be fraud or sexual assault, but this case sure seems like it's both. (And trusting "deja" is a form of vetting... Duh.)
@36 sent you an email, despite how terrified I am of him.
@38 Wow you sound just like Brock Turner's father.

It wouldn't be the first 100% miserable scumbag that this city's music scene has accepted as one of its own living among us.

Here's hoping they end up naming a new WA state law after him.
I feel bummed that people fall for this. maybe i'm more skeptical than most [and, obviously, I've never been propositioned to be in a porn shoot - not even HUMP!], but whatever, I'm sure all these girls are now aware that the clues were there all along.

In any case, I've been doing to some digging into rape laws, specifically in California as they relate to the Brock Turner case - and I noted that obtaining consent by fraud is distinctly illegal there. I don't know what the scenario in Washington is. If it's not already illegal, hopefully the legislature can close this loophole as quickly as they closed that "upskirt" loophole.
@7 call it / don't call it what you want, I hope you can agree it should be illegal.
@35 hot diggity - the dude worked at Neumos and couldn't get laid enough as it was that he had to trick some wannabe porn stars? If i'd spent 10 years there I'd have collected every STD and letter of alphabet a few times over.
@40 Maybe you should chat with some of the folks that work at Moe Bar. No one there was surprised by this story at all. The owner has been keeping him on for years despite how the staff felt about him.
I've known him for YEARS and am not in the least surprised. 2 years ago he sowed me some of his photos and I told him I wasn't comfortable looking at them because they appeared to be of a private nature. He laughed it off and told me I should do a "shoot." I declined. A month or so later he asked to use my apartment for a "shoot." I declined that request too.

Now I feel sick--I knew there was something wrong with those pictures.
Very weird that the Stranger does not mention Hickey was once employed by them! Seems like a possible conflict-of-interest??
@49 actually the article does say it. Read it again :)
achaiwoi - For someone so adverse to "shouting hysterics", you sure do it well yourself. All the clinical analysis and sophormic snideness can't disguise how threatened you feel.
Good on The Stranger for reporting on this considering prior ties.

Geez. I would see Hickey everywhere for a time, I had zero clue he was such a piece of filth.
@49: It'd be a real conflict of interest if they had a lawsuit against or current business relationship with him (and were promoting his work).

I agree that it's the best thing to do, but they're not actively bettered for it.
Found a Lord of the Rings porn parody starring Dil-do and Fro-ho Faggins posted to YouTube by Seattle Talent Productions...Seems too coincidental to not be related to this Matt Hickey fella.

Let Matt's own photos speak for themself: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/mattoly/al…

And take screenshots like I did before he deletes them.
Here's a not-at-all creepy video of Matt naked in bed a week ago while the story was developing.
I know Matt Hickey. He lived in Olympia when I was a teenager. Me and a friend of mine, we were 14, met him on Facebook. He contacted us and would beg and plead for us to come hang out with him. He'd invite us over to his house constantly. We never did hang out with him but he was much older than both of us and it creeped us out. I can honestly say this guy is dangerous and possibly a pedophile and definitely a rapist. He's a sick fuck.
Sorry it was MySpace, not Facebook. Long time ago.

Cool move, broh. Establish these women as victims of this dick head, and post their photos in this thread. B sure 2 save them.
Matt Hickey has been raping girls since at least the late '90s. I lived in Olympia at the same time as him. He assaulted a couple of my friends and was pretty much run out of town eventually. This article doesn't surprise me at all.
Ach honey, I see your poorly executed game theory like manipulation and other childish mysogny being hurled at others like you're "winning" a comments section. It's such an easily recognizable pattern of behavior, usually of an ugly dude with a superiority complex. Clearly you feel threatened - my comments hit some very sensitive nerves that sent your keyboard a pitter-patter.

@60/61 Do you remember what year that was?

This is truly awful. He is a predator in the vein of Bill Cosby - promising career opportunities to vulnerable young women, then intoxicating and raping them.

I'm so sorry to all the victims, and hate to think about how many more there are out there.
@59: Seriously, you're a terrible person and your parents did a shit job, or somehow you turned out this way all on your lonesome.
All this "threatened" and "sensitive" when you're a sleazebag oozing his way over to a thread on a sexual abuser because you feel some sort of kinship with him...
This man is a predator. About 15 years ago when I was around 14-15 years old he would constantly invite me and my girlfriends to his apartment in downtown olympia to drink beer with him, he would send nude pictures and invite me and my friends to view his webcam where he would be nude. I think we met on myspace. I feel very lucky that we never agreed to go to his apartment with him, very scary to think about all of the things he has possibly done to women/underage girls over the years.
remember this - bit.ly/1WGJyE7
we could ask him if he does - bit.ly/1U9ap8a
@7 said everything I thought.
Uhh, hello, at least charge them with fraud...it's totally fraud. There was no job, and they obtained sex for a job that didn't exist. Amounts of money were mentioned. The sex was explictly for purposed of getting imaginary job. People are so unimaginative, use your heads, get creative. SMH
@70 scumbags gotta stick together
This is a terrible and disgusting thing that he has allegedly done. But it is obvious that these young women were gullible. But young people are often gullible. That doesn't mean they deserve this. If he gave alcohol to a minor that surely is illegal. And well I think there are some serious issues with the idea that one cannot consent when drinking I believe there are some legal issues there that could make it rape. Especially if the person were under 21 and affected by alcohol given to them by him.
@72: These oozing creeps don't even read the rest of the stories. "Oh, it's just a financial transaction", not at all bothered by the persons posting about how he's a creepy predator (who cares about the underaged teens who were so plied?) If the rest is legal, it shouldn't be.

A quick google shows the law in other states-

No matter what the scam, there will be someone after the fact saying "how could they be so gullible". Fuck off. These women were obviously desperate. They didn't have much money, or much time to explore various financial options. They weren't necessarily that interested in porn, but figured it might be a good way to make a lot of money very quickly. None of that seems crazy, nor does the idea of someone recruiting "talent". Of course they should have done their homework, but again, lack of time and resources lead them to cut corners, and assume this would work out. One thing lead to another, and they were scammed. There but for the grace of God, in my opinion.

As far for whether this is rape or not, it sure seems like it to me. If it is fraud (which is illegal) and sex was part of the fraud, so therefore it seems like third degree rape (or whatever the low end of rape is). Of course it isn't the same as forcible rape, and the sentencing should reflect that. It is just like when an armed robber accidentally shoots someone. They didn't mean to kill the clerk, but it is still murder, because the act took place as part of another crime.

I understand the slippery slope argument, but most laws reflect that. Consider someone getting slapped. Is that assault and battery? My guess is no prosecutor would ever take that case, even though, technically, it probably is. Where do you draw the line? It is similar to fraud. If I sell you a car and says it "runs great" even though it doesn't, it isn't quite the same as it failing the last emissions test and me saying it passed. Fraud happens every day, just to various degrees. It isn't until it gets very egregious that it gets prosecuted. This is one of those times.

Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm not a lawyer. It sounds like a good plot for a Law and Order episode, though.
Makes you shudder in retrospect, though It should have made some shudder at the time. Didn't anyone think anything was off with this guy?

There are books titled "The Porn Industry for Dummies", right? Otherwise, any guy could start turning pretty women into prostitutes and no one's supposed to have a problem with it?
@76: I recall that thread (and may have been there that day) but I missed that bit at the end... beyond all this creeping, how the fuck does one acquire $10,000 in parking tickets?

@77: He's *not* paying them to have sex with him, though. Though perhaps by that rationale he could finally see jailtime.
You can't just off-handedly mention that someone had to tattoo over the two scars that he left on them, and never mention it again. How were the scars inflicted? Did he cut her with something? Did he cut any of the other women? I just want some clarification - it seems like there is something you forgot to tell us.
@79 - the article talks about how she slit her wrists after the incident with Matt
@78 Maybe someone can run up that many tickets by using the world and the people in it like personal services. This guy, man. This guy. I remember him being around Slog a lot in the bad ol' days and I'm curious how people who worked with him felt. Many of them can be found here either, though.

@79 It says in the feature that she cut herself after her "audition".

@undead: Would/should the following be considered "rape by fraud"?

1) Lying about one's marital status
2) Lying about one's age
3) Lying about one's income
4) Lying about one's fertility
5) Lying about being on birth control
6) Lying about whether one has an STD

Presumably the line should be drawn somewhere. Where?
@18 How much you wanna bet there was nothing wrong with his butt?

Might not be able to bust the fucker but it seems like it should be possible to make it so he has to change his name and move far away.
@79, Wasn't that the women who slit her wrists after he did-or-didn't rape her?
@82 - the article gave clear examples of how "rape by fraud" can occur. This was fronted as a business transaction. They only agreed to sex based off this.He lied about the business (there was literally none). How is this not clear?
@85 It's crystal clear. Matt or Deja or whatever other sock puppet name is being used it trying to muddy the water or cast shade on the victims because he thinks he's smarter than everyone and can get away with this by sowing seeds of doubt.

I look forward to the follow up reporting on this.
@82: The site I linked to listed various state implementations, I am not well versed enough in law to have an informed opinion on what is fair and just, nor is this really the best venue for me to plot out any "ideal" law.
@82 where would you draw the line?

a couple things i notice: some lies are promises. some lies cause damages. some lies create the interest to being with. some lies are entirely fraudulent.

many of your questions are instances where sex is wanted, and there is an inconsequential lie in the mix. which of those lies created interest in having sex? which of those lies promised something in return for sex? which of those lies caused harm? which of those lies were entirely a created situation for the purpose of tricking a specific person to going from the state of not wanting sex to having sex?

i mean, i assume you are a troll, but certainly even a troll has to agree telling someone you met at a bar and wants to go home with you that you are 34 when you are 35 isn't really a big deal compared to what happened here. do you think Matt Hickey should be on the "that's okay" side of the line? is that why you are asking the question? if not this case, what case would you use to draw the line?

i mean, presumably the line should be drawn somewhere.
@lilitu83: Neither the article nor the laws currently on the books (linked by @undead) are clear about what scenarios in general should constitute "rape by fraud". That's why I asked.

Some other scenarios to consider:
7) Lying about one's birth gender
8) Lying about one's genital configuration
9) Lying about surgical enhancements
10) Lying about one's kinks
you know hickey is commenting here, and i hope the stranger correlates the i.p. addresses. after reading his comments in aggregate, my money is on WoofCandy, for one.
@85: A good baseline, the "casting couch" promising sex for work that'll never come should certainly be against the law.
@in-frequent: do you think Matt Hickey should be on the "that's okay" side of the line?

No, but I am concerned for others who might get caught up in whatever legal net is invented to catch people like him.

what case would you use to draw the line?

I would support a law that prohibits obtaining sex under the false guise of being a porn producer. Or, tricking someone into believing you are their spouse. I'm sure there are other specific scenarios that I've never imagined but would agree should be illegal.

However, I am definitely not in favor of vaguely stated laws that make lying for sex a crime. With the notable exception of men of high social status (e.g., Brock Turner, OJ Simpson), our country imprisons too many men as it is.
@90: Are you for real?

If you want to know how existing laws on the books work, ask a lawyer. Do some research. Trying to cast doubt on things you don't understand and crying about a slippery slope that doesn't exist is a questionable tactic and not curiosity or sincere concern.
"However, I am definitely not in favor of vaguely stated laws that make lying for sex a crime."

Great, then educate yourself on their text, intent, and how they are commonly applied.

What you're doing here is not helpful to anyone, nor is it a particularly interesting thought experiment considering your rambling here is based entirely on your own personal ignorance and fearmongering.
OK. I've decided the outcome of this story...some porn producer in LA will get in touch with Matt and they turn his story into a porn movie, then all those who think the whole thing is a fucking larf will be happy as clams in Matt's bank account. The End. Come again real soon! Ha ha ha....ha.
well, woof, in that case you are muddling the waters here. you agree the behavior should be illegal. not need to bring up other cases to confuse the matter. not sure you if that makes your type of trolling "concern" trolling, but it its not helpful to the discussion. thanks for clarifying.
Yeah, intentional or not it's certainly a concern troll "afraid" of a law that exists only in his head. So helpful!
i still wanna hear how 'little hickeys' ended up on the unicorn menu
Hole poking smart guy has concerns.
@99: It used to be "Matt Hickey's tiny wieners" (aka lil' smokies)
@in-frequent: It was helpful for me to get clarity on what specific laws people (at least some of them, anyway) are advocating to remedy this situation, and I would imagine it might be helpful to others, too.
102: You're getting preemptively comcerned over a fictitious law that nobody in this particular thread is enacting?

Talk to a lawyer if you're worried.
@104: What a quality first post!
Check out Jezebel's site, for a rehash of the story. And go to matthickey.com.

I just had an interesting thought. What if this person existed and did have some porn connections? What if she forwarded photos to porn producers but no job ever came. Would it then be alright? What if it was really him but he really did get one or more women a job in porn. Would that be okay? Would it be legal? I think we can all agree that the porn industry is pretty messed up and men in the porn industry taking advantage of women situation for sex is common I am sure. But should that be illegal? Should the casting couch be illegal in Hollywood? It's certainly unethical. But what if the producer actually gave someone a job in exchange for sex? Is that okay? Should it be legal? Would it be considered prostitution to trade sex for valuable consideration such as a job? There is the old phrase slept her way to the top. Of course it's a bit distasteful and probably more accusation than true. But if a woman or a man does get ahead or some kind of benefits from sleeping with people, is that ethical? As far as someone giving a prostitute fake money I do not think that should be charged as rape. Rape is too serious a charge. A prostitute may feel upset but she is not going to feel mentally abused and taken advantage of in the same way these women were. On the other hand it should be charged as theft. If you take services from someone and do not pay them by leaving a bogus check or credit card or an envelope full of paper that would be considered theft. I find it hard to imagine a prostitute taking a sealed envelope from a guy. Seems like that would be the oldest trick in the book. Maybe she was new. I can't imagine a prostitute who wouldn't open the envelope. Not everyone may know it but there is an old joke actually. Prostitute has sex and then the guy doesn't pay her. She says I've been raped. Not so funny anymore I guess. A few years back an Arab man had sex with an Israeli Jewish woman without telling her he was a Muslim. This was in Israel. Perhaps he said he was Jewish. I believe he went to jail for fraud. I do not I think that should be illegal in this country. Hard to not feel that is a bit racist of Israel. There has to be a certain amount of let the buyer beware. Not that I would excuse this guy. He clearly crossed the line into fraud of some kind
@107 Gets it.
If H had even done least bit of effort to contact porn producers to obtain work for the women, no fraud.
@108 107 meandered quite a bit there, but did you read the last line they wrote?
@undead: You're getting preemptively comcerned over a fictitious law

I'm raising the potential legal and ethical implications of this story, just like Sydney in the original article and many other people in this thread. Have you read the article? Or the page you linked to? Or any of the comments?

Whatever, my mistake for engaging you in discussion, I didn't realize you were a troll.
@110: "I'm raising the potential legal and ethical implications of this story"

No you aren't. You're crafting your ever so helpful "concern" from whole cloth.
Yes, I read and the key part in my sentence is the word "IF"
@107 (nor anyone here) has any idea if H contacted any porn producers.
All I am saying is that so many comments here assume that H hasn't done anything, made no efforts to reach producers. & we don't have any information if he has or not.
So that IF has had made real efforts, then the case based on rape-by-fraud disappear.
H sounds like a creep but there 's no law against being a creep.
There may be other issues such as getting the women drunk (so they have no ability to consent to sex) but I'm focusing on this very weird story of getting them into bed to interview for a porn movie and how easy it would be for him to escape any guilt by simply making some effort to contact porn producers,
Look at Johnny effing Cochran over here. Unbelievable.
I knew that fuck-wit when I lived in Olympia in the late 90s. He was universally loathed even back then. I enjoyed openly mocking him at parties and heckling him as he rode past on his doche bag moped. There were rumors around town that he had assaulted a couple of women. This was sometime around 1997-98. It would be glorious to see him prosecuted for this.

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